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7 Reasons For Blood In Breast Milk

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Breast milk is the best milk for babies. It provides all the essential growth nutrients for the baby. But, there are some cases where you will find something unusual in the breast milk as well. One such condition is the presence of blood in breast milk.

Don't put yourself into too much of worry on experiencing this. It is commonly seen in most of the women who nurse their first baby. Usually, the blood in milk sometimes goes unnoticed, as it may come out in a negligible amount.
It is seen that the shades of breast milk sometimes vary from pink, orange, red and even brown. The change in the colour can be noticed only if you pump milk or the child spits blood. At that moment, you may get scared, but just relax it is very usual.

It is important to consult a doctor to make sure that you can continue nursing your baby. In most of the cases, you can continue breastfeeding.

Getting proper diagnosis will also help to treat the root cause, making it comfortable for you. Here, in this article, you can take a look at some of the 7 reasons that are possible for blood to appear in the breast milk:


Cracked Nipples

Cracked nipples or sore nipples are one of the reasons for blood in breast milk. How do nipples crack? Usually, breastfeeding is not uncomfortable for both the mom and her baby. But, if the baby doesn't latch properly, the nipples crack and it pains, causing it to bleed at certain instances.


Rusty Pipe Syndrome

As the name itself suggests, Rusty pipe syndrome is like the change of colour of the water from a rusty pipe. Similarly, the shade of milk turns into brown or red. It is noticed only when milk is pumped or when your baby spits blood-stained milk. It lasts only for a few days and is seen commonly during the first delivery.


Broken Or Damaged Capillaries

Sometimes, small blood vessels in the breast can get damaged or broken. Usually, this happens during expressing the milk. Expressing milk means removing milk without breastfeeding like pumping or by hands. So, it is important not to damage these blood vessels while expressing milk.


Intraductal Papilloma

Some women can have benign tumors on the lining of the milk ducts. It may cause bleeding and lead to flow of blood into the breast milk. Usually, there will be a small lump or growth behind your nipple or next to it. Consult a doctor to confirm that it is not malignant.



Mastitis is a common type of breast infection caused while breastfeeding. This happens when there is improper latching or missed feeding. Working women usually suffer from this infection. In such cases, you can find blood-tainted milk coming out while feeding.


Fibrocystic Breast

This is commonly seen in women over the age of 30 years. It is characterized by lumpiness in one or both the breasts. So, women who deliver their baby after the age of 30 may tend to have blood-stained breast milk. It is better to consult a doctor.


Paget's Disease

Paget's disease of the breast or nipple is a very uncommon medical condition and is seen only in 2 percent of the women. In such conditions, you can see blood-stained breast milk. It is a very rare condition.

These are some of the reasons for blood-stained breast milk, which you must make sure to bring to the notice of your doctor in case you come across any discomfort.

Read more about: milk, blood, pregnancy, parenting, mother, baby
Story first published: Monday, December 19, 2016, 12:43 [IST]
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